The first day of our recent trip, your Chocolate Priestess and the Milk Chocolate Acolyte went through Lebanon, Indiana, where we saw a series of signs for "CHOCOLATE". Obviously we had to stop. What we found was a house which was actually a store called "Donaldson's Finer Chocolates".
Inside we found both the sells room and a the manufacturing part of the business as well. Another customer was there so we made sure not to get him in the picture while we looked around. The first thing you see is a big display of candies you can purchase individually. Yes, that's me in the front looking back at you but that's Laura, the owner's daughter-in-law who gave us permission to take pictures and answered a few questions. She said that Mr. Donaldson has been a chocolatier for four decades but he wasn't there today. Since I've had several fine truffles recently I looked at the other displays in the store.
They sell boxed sets as well. None list the contents and when I asked Laura she said they pride themselves on not listing the contents, it makes each bit a surprise. While I applaud their confidence in their products, I personally want to know what each piece is since my family, both immediate and extended, has allergies of a wide variety. In the background, beyond the glass you can see part of the manufacturing section of the store.
Again I've had a fair amount of boxed selections recently so I turned to another display only part of which you can see in the photo on the left. Here are individually wrapped and sold treats of a wide assortment. You can see more of the kitchen as well in this picture and though we didn't take pictures, they were making more candies while we were there.
We got a white chocolate pretzel, two milk chocolate covered oreos, two dark chocolate covered marshmallows, a milk chocolate covered rice crispy treat, two mint turtles and an orange butterfly. They also had a wide selection for Father's Day in the form of sports equipment. You can see what we bought below:
The chocolate covered treats were all excellent. I was most surprised by how much I liked the covered marshmallows with the pecan halves on them -- the inside was very chewy and fresh, the chocolate ganache had clearly sealed them well. The decorative candies on top of the oreos and the rice crispy treat could have been left off, it tasted like dye to be honest. The butterfly had an orange taste but sadly the turtle barely tasted like anything than white chocolate. But these items were all reasonably priced so you could try a variety of things and I didn't feel like it wasn't worth my money.
If "Donaldson's" sounds like a place you want to check out, you can find it at the Junction of I-5 & 600 S. State Road 39 in Lebanon, Indiana. We took this picture just because, hope it makes you smile but remember: Moderation and Purposefulness.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.
If you are reading in the eastern half of the Midwest, don't forget The Chocolate Cult's first CONTEST.